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Our best vacations were on this cruise by moniquelehman

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

The best vacation we ever had!

Not expensive, elegant, interesting, good food, top quality enterteinment

Land excursions well planned,great selection of movies and books, nice cabin, polite service.

I recommend this trip to all my friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! !!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!! ……… !!!!!!! ……...

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A very pleasant cruise by dcalistrat

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

Everybody was very friendly, staff and fellow passengers!

There were many activities organized  by the staff. Food was good and shows also good. We enjoyed also the side music as the piano and violin players.

Down sizes:

Our first stateroom was on the third level under the kitchen! It was permanently noisy .After complaining we got a better stateroom.

 Before booking verify what is above your place.

The shore excursions were very expensive for what they were offering. There were many offers outside the ship and  much more reasonable for the same service or better.

The places that we visited. in the Falkland Islands and. in Patagonia were ok but not spectacular. .For instance In Puerto Montt we traveedl each way 90 minutes to see a medium size waterfall.

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Fabulous Cruise! by sstoll9n

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

I loved cruising on Holland America's Zaandam to Alaska.  The size of the ship is just right, not too many people so that it is crazy getting on and off in port.  The staff were all extremely friendly and helpful and the food was amazing.

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Couldn't help clouds but lacked activity by dcganger

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

the weather was bad and can't be helped.  With four days at sea it would have been nice to have more activities offered on those days.  Could use better entertainment and more shows offered. I had been on two other cruises with other cruise lines and was confident entertainment would be wonderful.  Wait staff was GREAT and made te trip more enjoyable.

 

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Alaska on Holland America Zaandam - Cruise #38 by Papaly

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

We chose this cruise first because of the itinerary; second because it left from Vancouver, B.C. which we wanted to visit for a few days before the cruise; and third to experience Holland America cruiseline for the first time.

 

This Inside Passage cruise visited Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan Alaska and also spent a full day cruising the Tracy Arm Fjord. As far as a seven day itinerary to Alaska is concerned, you could not do much better. In Skagway we took a full day tour over to the Yukon Territory booked online through Frontier Excursions. Many interesting stops and great photo opportunities and the sighting of a bear in the wild along with a great guide made this the best day of the cruise. Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord with icebergs floating by and getting up close to Sawyer Glacier was next best, with Juneau and Ketchikan still very enjoyable. 

 

The Zaandam itself is an older ship with only two levels of balconies. We had a balcony room and for this type of cruise where the scenery is a major attraction, we highly recommend it as the crowds up on deck jockeying for rail space can be avoided.

 

 While older, the ship is very well maintained and clean. There are many comfortable public seating areas to relax in. As with all cruises there was a wide variety of daily activities from which to choose.

 

The quality and variety of the food we found to be generally excellent. It was the food service that was greatly lacking...actually poor. Whether in the cafeteria or the main dining room there never seemed to be enough servers and those that were  there did not seem to be very organized or be working as a team. To make matters worse, they were not very friendly and rarely smiled. Our experience in the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant was deplorable. When I requested the server to bring my soup before my salad, the  Maitre,d came to our table and basically chastised me saying that that was not the way it is done. In comparison, the service in the Italian specialty restaurant was excellent..the best on the ship.

 

The cabins are conservatively appointed but clean and with excellent mattresses.

 

As indicated above this was our 38th cruise and the seventh cruise line we have sailed on. We found the itinerary to be most enjoyable but Holland America employees could go a long way toward making their guests feel more appreciated in comparison to other cruise lines. Whether or not we sail with Holland America again remains to be seen

 

 

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Wow Time by bonorg

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (young children)
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Hi I have been on my 3rd cruise and this was good. I did not think the boat was that new overwhelming look that kids and I were looking for.I thought that it was a great trip the shore excursion s were great the scenic was great. However I was on 2 carnival ships and they we way more inpressive.  It would be a good idea to upgtae to new look.ü

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A Cruise Adventure but not your typical cruise by youngatheart

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

The Zaandam, its cruise, food, crew and accomodations were great.  Our stateroom was very comfortable, clean and reasonably appointed and they gave us the selection of 3 types of firmness for our pillows which was a nice touch.  Our cabin stewart was very attentive and we could count on our stateroom being made up after we returned from breakfast.  We ate breakfast in the Lido, mainly because we either had an excursion or slept in :-).  They had just about anything you could want for breakfast including cook to order eggs or omelets and the service was fast. We loved visiting Billy in the Ocean Bar for a couple of cocktails before dinner - a great bartender.  Dinner in the dining room was excellent.  The menu was quite varied but they also included some basics for the less adventurous pallet.  Service was good and the presentation on each course was wonderful.  What we didn't like was out of the 13 day cruise there were a total of 8 "sea days" and only 5 ports after you leave Buenos Aires.  Unfortunately we had heavy seas and winds so we couldn't go on the outer decks while we cruised the various channels, glaciers and the Cape Horn so we missed a lot of it and photo opportunities through ship windows just aren't great.  It was frequently foggy as well and cold at about 40-50 degrees (March 4-17).  We had looked upon cruising the Cape, glaciers and channels as we would an excursion - that was not the experience.  Additionally we had such rough seas the Captain couldn't take us in the Chilean Fjords so we missed that totally.  Of course the weather there is usually cool and rainy.  In Ushuaia the guide on our excursion told us that out of 365 days in a year they have only 44 full sunny days.  Guess we should have researched more.  We also felt that with that many "sea days" the Zaandam should have had more varied entertainment.  After a couple of days, tango lessons, bingo, art and jewelery shows get old.  The evening entertainment was great - wonderful shows in the lounge, but when you can't go out on the outside decks during the day it gets a bit boring.  Many people were reading in the lounge areas, my though was I can read at home.  The fitness center is great, used it several times but when the seas were rough I was reluctant to get on the equipment.  The best time to be had was with Buddy the piano man in the Mix Lounge.  He was a great entertainer but as of May 2 he is going to the Holland cruise in the orient.  If you take that cruise with Holland be sure to stop by and say hello to Buddy!

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Cape Horn and Falklands by Horn

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: South America

The itinerary was good from the tip of Argentina. The first leg along the coast of Chile was somewhat boring. The unexpected stop at the Falklands was a huge bonus. Going around the Horn was terrific.

The ship, service and cabin were fine , but the food was average and often not hot enough.

The internet service was too expensive as was the wine bought on-board.

Trips bought on the vessel were overpriced and a lot of folks are now making their own arrangements.

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Zaandam 18 Night Eastbound Panama Canal Cruise by MillersMarina

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

We really enjoyed the entire cruise experience - stateroom was comfortable with good storage, food was good, service was good, some of the entertainment was really good.  We met lots of really nice fellow passengers - especially in the dining room with Open Seating dining.  We LOVED  Open Seating Dining - it allowed us to meet different people and we never felt rushed to be in the dining room at a specific time.

 

The staff did a great job handling luggage at embarkation and debarkation.

 

We were surprised that room service was available on debarkation morning - we ordered full breakfasts; poached eggs, an omelet, fresh fruit etc. and actually received it at the time we specified.  We have never seen a cruise line offer that on the last morning.  Nice touch.

 

When we booked our trip we were thinking 18 nights might be too long for a cruise, but by the end we didn't want to get off the ship.  We were spoiled.

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My upgrade? by laed

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

I paid extra to insure I got a cabin with a large window as I've had on my previous 2 Alaska cruises. What I got was a cabin with 2 small porthole type windows. Boarding the ship 4 hours before sailing, we went to customer service and asked for the correct room that I paid for, even if I had to pay extra for the cabin(again). I was told there was none available. Also the room was very small with the bed in the middle of the room making it very difficult to walk around our room. Starting Monday of the cruise, our toilet would plug up every morning from around 7am to 10 am. Except for Thursday, when it was plugged morning and afternoon. After Thursday afternoon, no more problems with the plumbing. The crew and staff were excellent(except for the customer service desk) This being my second Holland America Alaskan cruise I was told I've probably be given a free upgrade. didn't turn out that way. Lastly; when the ship docked in Seward, we were told if your taking the train into Anchorage, we had to be off the ship by 6:15 am.

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Alaska Cruisetour southbound by quilterc

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Great trip from the beginning planning with our Travelocity rep Leanne who is fantastic. Great weather on the land part. Not many meals included on the land tour. Great tundrawilderness tour...weather fantastic & saw lots of wildlife. All guildes were knowledgeable & very personable and accommodating...comfortable coaches especially on Denali tundra tour. Cruise was delightful. As always Holland America was tops in accommodations, food, & port stops. Ship staff was very helpful & accommodating. Some rain but it did not damper the trip. I would cruise Holland American again in a minute. And I would definitely do it through Vacation Outlet.

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Holland America Inconsisten by Cruiser61988086

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Mexico

We filled out a Questionaire on Board also but have not heard any response back This seems to be typical of what we found on board . They seemed to be understaffed for some reason. Many Tables with dirty dishes so no place to sit. In the Formal dining on second nite a Long Hair on the Entree was pointed out in a quiet manor on my Wifes plate to dining staff. The dining coordinater came over and quietly said he would be taking care of us personally after apology. Nothing Happened. Another nite Refused Dinner in Dining Area Because Did not Have Tie on though was Dress Very Appropriately and Classy Did not eat in Dining thereafter. Still Made best of the Time on Board and Had Fun

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Excellent by Wildtrip

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Mexico

We had a great time on our adventure. The food was fantastic. Our steward for our rooms we so friendly and helpful. We did enjoy the Dancing with the Stars experience.

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The ship for the nearly dead by GAcruiser24

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Hawaii

I didn't enjoy this ship very much due to a variety of reasons. Primarily it was extremely boring, being that you are at sea most of the time you need proper and engaging entertainment on board. The average age is 74 so if you are retired and in this age group this cruise line is the one for you! However if you are looking for music, parties and dancing definitely NOT. The food in the the lido deck which is available most of the day was extremely average and it was repetitive same food every day, to the point where you didn't know what to eat by day 4.The food was usually cold and the plates scolding burn your hands hot, so that sucked. However, the food in the dinning room for the seated dinner was very good, great variety, tasty meals and nice setting. The staff aboard the Zandam was fantastic I don't have any complains from room Stuart's, dinning attendants or any other member that served or picked up after me. They always had a smile and were extremely helpful.

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mexican cruise by roberthale88

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Mexico

Overall good tour. Made a mistake by not getting deluxe veranda suite. Our suite was quite narrow. Also deluxe suite gets to use Neptune lounge which was on our floor. Baggage handling was excellent. Room attendents were great. Food was excellent in dining room. Lido eating was a problem due to lots of people eating at same time. Terrace cafe was good until 2 passengers came down with flu symptoms after Cabo. Dining had to go back to being served instead of self service. Didn't do any of the shows so can't comment. Piano bar was good. Ocean bar had dancing with good music in evening. We used the llbrary and had coffee there often. Very nice and quiet. Costs of using on board computers and internet were too expensive so didn't use. Really enjoyed Vallarta-took a cab cruiise for 3 hours-driver was great. Cabo had too many street vendors on the boardwalk. Enjoyed relaxing on our veranda. Cruise director was good. Service in the dining room was excellent. Couldn't hear the announcements in our room, had to open the cabin door to hear. Getting on the ship and off the ship at the end were very efficient.

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Average by theCruisersVB

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Mexico

Just got back from the 7 day San Diego/Puerto Vallarta/Cabo Zaandam cruise. We had come to expect that Holland America would be the ultimate cruise line and we were very disappointed. Not that it was bad, everything was quite good, however we have experienced better and more enthusiastic service on other cruise lines. Pool and Hot Tubs closed way too early each night. Staterooms need serious updating and cleaning (our room smelled bad). Anytime dining was a misnomer as there were times when none of the eating areas were open. Yet sometimes it took over 1/2 hour to place an order for Room Service and then over an hour for it to be delivered. The additional charge for Canelleto Dining (in the Lido) was an insult because of terrible service. At all times the food tasted great, but expect to spend 2 hours to be served a full meal. The room stewards were excellent, the entertainment was excellent, the excursions were so-so and time in Cabo was very short. We were not told some port activities are in-accessible if mobility is an issue. Cruisers need to be warned that street vendors are extremely aggressive and in some situations almost dangerous.

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Relaxing Cruise by CarolynZ

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Mexico

Although the service and food was wonderful, the sewer smell combined with the movement of the ship was nauseating. We did enjoy our chosen port excursions.

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Nice but very moderate activity by Glenda

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Mexico

We recently sailed Holland America Zaandam ship to Mexico out of San Diego. I didn't expect such an older crowd. My husband is 61 and we were among the youngest. I imagine because of this the activities were minimal. We loved the tennis courts(and they closed this court after 3 days) and volleyball courts but that was the only out door sport available. They did offer water aerobics and that was a good work out. I felt there could have been more outdoor activities offered. After 8 cruises, this one was by far the least active. We did enjoy the shows and they had a comedian ventriloquist that was awesome. The fact they didn't allow smoking in there bars was an absolute plus in my book. Normally we would love to join in the sing a longs around the piano on other ships but they allow smoking. This time we were able to enjoy all the bars including singing, dancing and just listening to music. The talent was wonderful. On one occasion I asked for ice water from a bar attendant walking around taking orders. He informed me that he only delivers alcohol drinks. I was very disappointed. However, I found out from other guests that he was an exception and they WERE supposed to deliver any drink I requested. The fact that you could walk around the entire ship on the 3rd floor was fantastic. Other ships we have sailed didn't offer this. The crew were friendly but everyone commented on the lack of enthusiasm on the lido deck. They didn't offer trays which cut down on the amount you ate because you couldn't carry more than two plates at a time. I thought that was a good Idea, but I always had to make two trips when I had a bowl of fruit, a lunch plate and then needed a drink. I'm not sure how the elderly people managed. In my opinion, if you are used to being sedate and not wanting to move much, this was the cruise for you.

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Fun cruise by Margare36259510

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska

Nice size ship with plenty to do.

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Not up to expectations by VandaB1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Zaandam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

food too strange/fancy not enuf of it at dinner crew very friendly, helpful entertainment high schoolish performances and all the same rooms good comfortable bed plenty of closet/drawers but shower leaked onto bathroom floor and not enuf plug ins ONLY ONE damaged my suitcase when taking to dock, clothes hanging out side of luggage and gave us wrong departure time missed bus to airport had to pay $45 for cab when bus already paid for not enuf information on excursions unless you already knew what there was to do and where to ask not helpful to first time crusier

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